Vail Daily column: Realtor requesting lots of changes |

Vail Daily column: Realtor requesting lots of changes

Joan Harned

Dear Joan,

I am in the process of listing my house and my broker is telling me I need to change, repair or redo several parts of my home. I am already disappointed in the amount he has said I can sell it for and now he wants me to spend a lot of money and time making my monetary loss larger and prolonging getting the property on the market. Is this normal to have all of these requests from your Realtor?

Dear “Deferred Maintenance,”

It sounds like you have several things going on here. Since I have never seen your property, nor do I know your broker, here are some general things you can use to weigh your decisions.

First, are you confident with the choice of your broker? You need to feel that he or she is knowledgeable and truthful so that you can believe the advice they are giving you. I presume your broker gave you a CMA (comparative market analysis) showing you what other homes in your neighborhood are listed for, and have recently sold for. If need be, you can ask your broker to show you some comparable homes, that is, if you are able to be objective. This should help you understand your broker’s suggested list price and help you work with them to get to a price you are comfortable with.

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Then, I think you need to make a list of all of the suggested changes and figure out, hopefully with the broker, where you can get the “most bang for your buck,” meaning what will make your home show the best, for the least amount of time and money. The selected changes usually need to “show” and be important to the majority of the buyers. In general, having your home thoroughly cleaned, including the windows, is always a great step in the right direction. This includes getting rid of clutter on all counter-tops. I usually offer to have my stager come through and make a list of suggestions for what would help in each room. Sometimes repainting/staining specific areas will be enough instead of a total project. Ask your broker for suggestions of work people who can do the jobs needed to be done quickly and well.

The reason for doing these items up front is that you often net much more money than if buyers do not have a good first impression. If there are several “apples” to choose from, and they are similarly priced, then you want to be the shiniest “apple” so they choose you. I realize you want to list your home quickly, but actually what you want is to sell your home quickly, which often is facilitated by doing some work first. There is nothing worse than having a home not sell, then doing some work and then not getting buyers back because they have a memory of the home not looking like it was worth the sale price when they first viewed it. We all say we are objective and can look through negative surface conditions, but we actually are all subject to emotional decisions in the end. Work with your professional broker to get the best decision and ultimately the best price in the quickest amount of time. Best of luck to you!

Joan Harned is an owner and broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years, is a past chairman of the Vail Board of Realtors, past Realtor of the Year, past director on the Great Outdoors Colorado Board and a member of the Luxury and Land Institutes. Contact Harned at, 970-337-7777 or

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